Why these women are finally ditching tampons and moving on to better things

The revolution is here

From an early age women are taught that tampons are the be all and end all of sanitary products. As teenagers we're subtly told that if you don't use tampons, you're not doing the cool thing, and you're not doing your period right. Pads are labelled "messy" and unhygienic. Only weird people dare to try unconventional options like menstrual cups or sponges.

Recently, though, something has changed. Some women are realising that tampons are just one option; that they can be hugely inconvenient, uncomfortable, expensive (thanks Theresa May), are bad for the environment and are now ditching them entirely. Not to mention the ever-present worry of toxic shock syndrome, highlighted by model activist Lauren Wasser who recently lost her second leg after contracting it. It can happen to anyone.

We've all heard the horror stories: a string falling off, forgetting about it during sex, putting another one in when there's already one up there. They're enough to make you consider never using them again. Well, we've spoken to the girls who've done exactly that: they've put the tampons down forever, and they told us why they're never going back.

Jin, 20

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I never liked tampons or pads very much, I would have to go about my day constantly worrying about when I need to change them, it was so annoying and uncomfortable. Going off them in first year of uni, I switched to the cup immediately. I’ve always been a bit scared of toxic shock syndrome and never found tampons comfortable in the first place. Plus they’re not even good for the environment.

The cup is comfortable once you get used to them. When I’m traveling it doesn't take any space up in my bag and it’s so much cheaper.

Grace, 20

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I stopped using tampons and swapped for pads when I was like 16 because when I went on the pill. Tampons became such a faff and incredibly impractical with spotting.

Tampons are uncomfortable and when you don't have a heavy flow, there isn't enough to warrant using them. When you're spotting, it's so much easier to use lighter pads.

Diyora, 22

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For me ditching tampons was an obvious choice. Not only are they so uncomfortable to insert, they're expensive and unnecessarily use loads of plastic. And toxic shock syndrome terrifies me.

I also hate how tampons soak blood up internally, rather than externally, it perpetuates the notion that women don't have periods – which is just stupid. We bleed and it can be crippling. If it didn't ruin my clothes, I'd probably free bleed. But I also completely understand that some women find them more comfortable and don't want to walk around in their blood all day.

Rosa, 19

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I used tampons and pads until about six months ago and but I started using the mooncup when I went travelling. My sister has been using one for about two years I think and she had been banging on about them for that entire time. But I always thought it would be gross to have to put it in and out. Sometimes it can still be messy, but the positives are worth it.

I definitely think it was better to have worn tampons prior to using a the mooncup because it's obviously bigger to put in. But once you get used to it it’s completely fine. I hated using pads at night because I would just wake up feeling gross but obviously you shouldn't really wear tampons to bed. Also, I have an incredibly short cycle so it was cheaper to get the mooncup. And it’s easy to carry round if my period decides to randomly crop up on me after two and a half weeks, which is cool. They’re also way better for the environment and your body generally.

Tirzah, 21

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Originally I ditched tampons for the environment as there's less plastic waste, and also as tampons used to make me feel quite dry and uncomfortable. But switching to the mooncup was the best move I’ve ever made! It’s so much easier and makes periods a complete breeze. You don’t have to change all the time, as for me it usually lasts all day.

And I have a super heavy flow. You don’t need to have a bin or anything and it’s just great. I haven't had any annoying leaks or anything and it’s been like a year now.

It’s quite hands on though, so I get why some people may not be on board, but that is totally under-shadowed by how easy it makes to deal with periods.

Sophie, 26

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I actually started using the mooncup for an article about a year ago, and I've never looked back since. Once I'd woken up to the fact that I could use a sanitary product that I didn't worry about all day, I was sold. I think tampons are miss-sold to young women as the only option – they're not. In fact they're probably one of the worst options out there, especially with all the news about toxic shock syndrome. Obviously everyone has an option that's right for them, but if you're considering getting rid of the tampons, my advice would be: definitely try another option. It could change your life.

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